Alden Global Capital

Alden Global Capital is a hedge fund based in Manhattan, New York City. It was founded in 2007 by Randall D. Smith.[2] Its managing director is Heath Freeman.[2][3] By mid-2020, Alden had stakes in roughly two hundred American newspapers.[4][5] The company added more newspapers to its portfolio in May 2021 when it purchased Tribune Publishing and became the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States.[6][7][8][9]

Alden Global Capital
TypePrivately held company
IndustryInvestment management
FounderRandall D. Smith
Lipstick Building, New York City, U.S.
Key people
Heath Freeman
ProductsHedge funds
AUM$1.04 billion
Number of employees

The company operates its media holdings through Digital First Media (DFM), which it acquired in 2010 after DMG's parent company, MediaNews Group, declared bankruptcy.[10] With its acquisition of Tribune Publishing in late May 2021, Alden is collectively the second-largest owner of newspapers in the United States, as calculated by average daily print circulation, second only to Gannett.[11]

In November 2021, Alden Global Capital made an offer to purchase Lee Enterprises for $24 a share in cash, or about $141 million.[12] Lee owns daily newspapers in 77 markets in 26 states, and about 350 weekly and specialty publications.[13]

Particularly noteworthy newspapers in Alden's portfolio include the Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Boston Herald, The Mercury News of San Jose, the East Bay Times, The Orange County Register, and the Orlando Sentinel.[14]

Alden has a reputation for sharply cutting costs by reducing the number of journalists working on its newspapers.[15][16] In March 2018, Margaret Sullivan, the media columnist for The Washington Post, called Alden "one of the most ruthless of the corporate strip-miners seemingly intent on destroying local journalism."[17] and Vanity Fair dubbed Alden the "grim reaper of American newspapers."[18]

Alden received critical coverage from the editorial staff at the Denver Post, who described Alden Global Capital as "vulture capitalists" after multiple staff layoffs.[10][19][20]

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